One of the world’s leading orthopedic surgeons was inspired by meeting a legendary American football hero who was visiting the Cayman Islands to participate in a leadership conference.
Dr. Alwin Almeida, Chief Orthopedic Surgeon and Joint Replacement Specialist at Health City Cayman Islands, said it was an honor to meet Dan Marino, one of the greatest American football quarterbacks ever to play the game, when the sports legend toured Health City Cayman Islands’ world-class facility in October.
“You can imagine how honored we felt when Mr. Marino included Health City as a stop during his Cayman Islands visit,” said Dr. Almeida, who is responsible for Health City’s joint replacement program and sports injury clinic, and performs diagnostic operations and endoscopic treatments of joint diseases.
The Pro Hall of Fame quarterback, who played for the Miami Dolphins from 1983 to 1999, gave a presentation as part of the Thrive leadership workshop series held at The Ritz-Carlton, and touched on issues such as leadership, performance, building community relationships and honoring family.
Marino encouraged conference attendees to become strong leaders by setting high performance standards for themselves, thereby inspiring others to follow their example.
Growing up in his native India, watching American football was not a common activity for Dr. Almeida, but elite athletes such as Marino were widely recognized for their exceptional talent.
Despite the geographic distance between the two men – for both of whom being skilled with their hands is paramount – Dr. Almeida was inspired by Marino’s drive to succeed.
Dr. Almeida, one of the busiest surgeons at Health City, sees similarities between American football and sports such as rugby, soccer and cricket.
One injury common to both cricket and American football players is that of the throwing shoulder, the surgeon noted. “The throwing or bowling shoulder has been a subject of considerable interest to shoulder surgeons. The present knowledge of sports medicine, joint bio-mechanics and advanced imaging techniques such as MRI scans enable sports surgeons to treat these issues and help athletes to prevent them,” he reported.
“Cricket, which is widely played in the Caribbean and South Asia, predisposes the player to unique injuries specific to their positions. Bowlers are susceptible to rotator cuff injuries and other shoulder problems, while batsmen are likely to suffer knee injuries such as ACL tears or meniscal injuries,” he noted.
“We tend to see more severe injuries in football (soccer) than in cricket, especially with regard to knee injuries where we may see multiple ligament injuries like a combination of ACL and PCL or MCL injuries and even fractures. American football players are also prone to acromioclavicular joint dislocations and shoulder dislocations due to the direct contact related injuries,” he observed.
Regardless of the sport, Dr. Almeida believes that preventive care is more important than the treatment of injuries, and urges athletes to take care of their bodies: “Our athletes need to take charge of their health so they can have longer, healthier years doing what they have been called to do.”
Dr. Almeida has performed more than 4,000 procedures, including 600 joint replacement surgeries, 1,000 arthroscopies and 700 arthroscopic ligament reconstructions of the knee.
At the sports leadership event, Health City Cayman Islands’ current marketing director Shomari Scott, a former vice captain of the Cayman Islands National Basketball Team, also gave a presentation on overcoming obstacles in order to achieve personal and professional success. Scott is also a former director of tourism for the Cayman Islands.